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Asian-owned businesses thriving along 2-mile stretch in Mesa

(City of Mesa Photo)

PHOENIX — Asian-owned businesses are thriving in the East Valley.

There are more than 70 businesses owned by Asians along a 2-mile stretch of Dobson Road in Mesa.

“I think it’s a special place unlike anywhere else in Arizona,” said Jaye O’Donnell, assistant economic director for the Mesa, Arizona’s third-largest city.

“The district is relatively small in terms of geography,” she added. “But it’s where you can find a variety of Asian culture, food, shopping, services, and it’s a really vibrant blend of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Filipino, Thai eateries and more.”

It’s currently dubbed the Asian district. But the city of Mesa is looking to rename it and for ways to brand it.

The city set up an online survey to get input from people who live, work and shop in the area. It will be open until Oct. 18.

“The Asian district is already a great destination,” O’Donnell said. “But one thing we want to do together with the community is to find ways to promote it even further and to attract additional visitors and businesses to the area to help it grow.”

The Asian district is along Dobson Road, stretching from Main Street to Southern Avenue. The first few businesses in the area opened about a decade ago. It has since grown exponentially.

Mekong Plaza, located at the southwest corner of Dobson Road and Main Street, was among the first businesses to open in the district. Today, the 100,000-square-foot building is at full occupancy, with 28 tenants.

Opened in 2016, the AZ International Marketplace is also part of the Asian district. The 100,000-square-foot store at the northeast corner of Dobson and Broadway roads is a one-stop shop for food and products from all over the world.

The newest addition the Asian district will be an upscale Asian-American supermarket chain called H Mart. It will be a 63,000-square-foot facility at the southeast corner of Main Street and Dobson Road.

The new store is slated to open in 2020 and will stock more than 40,000 items and feature a wide variety of Asian, Hispanic, American foods and related products.

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